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Tonight’s 5000 meter XC race marked the 5th race in the 33rd Annual Summer Sizzler series. Conditions were great for racing with a start temperature of 75F with partly sunny skies and a moderate breeze. Muddy trails from three days of rain leading up to the race will surely slow finishing times for the 30 participant. Continuing our new-found tradition of a timely start (we’re working on it) the bell rang at 6:30PM sharp and the field was off.
Leading the field into the opening 100 meters was Pat O’Neill with GSH’ers Dan McNair and Steve Virgadaula breathing down his neck. The race begins in earnest as the field made the right hand turn down the path towards the swamp. After battling each other across the rolling trails it was Pat hanging on for his first career victory in 21:40, forever engraving his name in the fabled Summer Sizzler Hall of Fame. Steve followed closely behind second place and top Senior (50-59) in 21:45 with Dominic Wilson’s 22:09 good for 3rd overall and top Master (40-49). Top Youth (0-19) honors went to GSH’s Cameron Scott in 22:24 wand GSH President Pete Stasz conquering a deep Veteran’s division (60-69) in 41:24.
Anne-Marie Tonsing took the early lead in the women’s field with Laura Pelczarski within earshot. In the end it would be Anne-Marie breaking the tape in 24:44 for her first victory of the season and 4th of her career. Laura finished second overall with a time of 26:01 and Youth division winner, GSH’s Isabel Cumming, placing 3rd overall female in 28:32. The female Youth Division was stacked tonight with all four finishers placing within 5 minutes of each other. Rounding out that division were GSH’ers Kiana Eaton & Julia Cummings followed by Katie Ekmalian. Top female Master belonged to Pam Thornton in 34:11 and Vicki Quagliaroli placing top Senior in 35:41.
Once again I would like to thank our core of dedicated volunteers consisting of Brian Goddu, Bruce Kurtz, Brian McCarthy and special guest Gabby Lescarbeau. Without their continued help these races wouldn’t be possible. Our series will continue next Wednesday, May 23rd with the 8K race.